Estate Planning For Grinches
Some people are grumpy at the holidays because of financial hardship, strained family relationships, or old or new bereavement, but others are grumpy at the holidays simply because holiday grouchiness is baked into their DNA. If you are a dyed in the wool Grinch, then you have been in a bad mood ever since you walked into Publix and saw that, where the Halloween candy display once stood, there was now a monstrosity of stuffing mixes, canned green beans, and nutmeg jars. The fact that you are one more year closer to death does not even make the top ten list of reasons why you are grumpy about the holidays. For cheerier folks around your age, though, the need to get started on an estate plan and to communicate it to close relatives is the number one source of trepidation around this time of year. A Tampa estate planning attorney has some advice for you this holiday season, but it is not quite the same that your more jovial peers would get.
The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: Greed Can Be a Motivation for Giving
Your children might assume a lot of things when they notice the lack of gift-wrapped boxes and holiday décor. They might assume that you cannot afford a celebration, or they might assume that you have plenty of money, but instead of sharing it, you are choosing to spend it on purchases and experiences that do not include them. (Either way, it is none of their business.) The best way to put an end to this speculation is to give them a cash gift big enough that they can spend the year buying stuff for themselves and paying down their debts instead of asking you nosy questions about your finances. This year’s annual gift tax exclusion is $16,000. This means that you can give tax-free gifts of up to $16,000 per recipient to multiple recipients.
With a Smile, Tell Your Family That Your Estate Plan Is None of Their Business
Once they have ingested enough liquid courage, and especially if there are no twinkling Christmas lights to distract them from thinking about serious subjects, your children may get around to asking you about your estate plan. The best thing to do is to tell them, truthfully, that you have things under control. Show them an envelope that contains a hard copy of your will, and let them know where they can find it when necessary. Let them know who is responsible for power of attorney and personal representative duties. (Presumably, the bearers of these responsibilities already know about them.) And then imagine their surprise when they go to probate court and find out how generous you really are. There are worse ways to avoid uncomfortable conversations about estate planning than by pretending that your heart is three sizes smaller than it really is.
Contact David Toback With Questions About Unsentimental Estate Planning
A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you if you are naturally grumpy when it comes to talking about money, illness, and death, but you acknowledge that these conversations need to happen. Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.